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Form counts, not the glitz quotient

Two-out-of-two against the Rajasthan Royals, and both by emphatic margins. Perhaps, this is the season in which the Kolkata Knight Riders can transform their potential into results. Jacques Kallis writes

cricket Updated: Apr 20, 2011 00:15 IST
Jacques Kallis

Two-out-of-two against the Rajasthan Royals, and both by emphatic margins. Perhaps, this is the season in which the Kolkata Knight Riders can transform their potential into results.

It is fundamentally wrong that KKR haven't even featured in a semifinal so far - the only one of the original eight teams who have never made the knockout stage. It's all very well being the 'glamour' team of the tournament and having the most high profile supporters, but that doesn't win matches.

Time for change
Even as I say that, I am aware that these are early days! That's why I ask the question about the Knight Riders changing their reputation as under-achievers - rather than making a statement that we will.

Every player with previous IPL experience knows how easy it is to slip into a losing streak, and how difficult it is to turn things around. The schedule is so tight that individual form is hard to find once you lose it. Most of the work has to be done in the head than in the nets - and, mostly, it is only experienced players who can do that.

No issues with form
Fortunately, there aren't too many Knight Riders struggling for form at the moment. Quite the opposite, in fact. Lakshmipathy Balaji was superb against the Royals and bowled the ball of the tournament to knock over Shane Watson in his 3-15.

Shakib Al-Hasan once again made an impact with two wickets in two balls. Jacques Kallis, on the other hand, did absolutely nothing --- out for a duck and didn't bowl.

Fortunately for him, he started off with a couple of decent games so perhaps his place is safe - for the moment. But he'd better keep looking over his shoulder - there's a lot of talent in this squad.

Kochi no pushovers
Nobody is taking the game against Kochi lightly after their victories against Chennai and Mumbai, two of the strongest teams. Players often do well against their former clubs so Brendon McCullum presents a danger against KKR and is also coming into form after scores of 81 and 47 in the last two innings.

I would like to mention how well two other players have started - Iqbal Abdulla has great potential and temperament and will have an important role in the coming weeks.

The other is Gautam Gambhir who had the intimidating job of taking over the captaincy (I know millions of Kolkatans still want Sourav there!).

But Gambhir has made an excellent start and, most importantly, hasn't allowed it to affect his batting form.

Hawkeye